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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:06 am 
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While Bolt did get some acclaim, as time went on people realized this was a Truman Show/Homeward Bound knock off and forgettable. What makes a film memorable in a "Strong" period of filmmaking is what is presented. The Disney Revival has unique films that have stood out. An African American princess, a CGI princess, video game characters, 2 sister princesses, superhero flick and 2 animal heroes becoming cops. All stood out for a reason. Bolt....well let's just it is no different than what Dreamworks or Blue Sky was releasing during that period (and even Dreamworks was stepping up with Kung Fu Panda that same year). So WHY is Bolt considered by some part of the revival when that honor clearly goes to Princess and the Frog and Tangled? Is it because it was the first film that John Lasseter touched because the previous films still had the 'Eisner failure' curse? Well I want to remind you that Oliver & Company back in 1988 was a test run to see if audiences would be interested in Disney again. Oliver & Company was a musical, featured notable actors like Billy Joel and Bette Midler, and maybe at the time was considered the starting of a new era. Today, Oliver & Company is ranked up there with films like Robin Hood, Brother Bear, The Fox and the Hound and Hercules. You do the math. In 2008, we get Bolt. Featured some Pixar/Dreamworks aesthetics, had the heart of pet films like 101 Dalmatians, and had star power of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. Where is the film today? Often lumped with Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons, not with Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Bolt and Meet the Robinsons are lumped into the Revival Era because Lasseter was involved in the making of both of them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:36 pm 
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As someone who has rewatched both Meet the Robinsons and Bolt in the past month after seeing Zootopia, I can say that the tone, animation-style, humor, and plotting in them are still very similar to the newer Lasseter-era films...probably because of Lasseter. Both films largely feel as though Disney Animation's story team was experimenting with Pixar's influence while still trying to maintain the "Disney feeling" (this is especially evident in Meet the Robinsons with the inspiration drawn from Walt Disney's optimistic ideas of the future). So, I see Meet the Robinsons and Bolt as important transitional films in the same way that a film like The Great Mouse Detective helped set a tone for the writing in the Disney Renaissance era films. Sure, Bolt is arguably more forgettable than anything Disney Animation has done in the past 5 years, but I don't think it should be lumped in with Home on the Range or Chicken Little. I mean, Bolt actually played a part in reviving Disney Animation. Heck, to my surprise, Bolt actually has a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than Wreck-it Ralph. :o

Plus, without taking over Bolt from Chris Sanders, I don't think that Byron Howard would have been able to direct either Tangled or Zootopia. That's something.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:18 pm 
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I would agree that Bolt is a transitional film, same with Meet the Robinsons. Both films represent Disney experimenting with what they could do for a new generation of families. But that also proves my point with Bolt not being part of the Revival era. Between 2000 to 2008, that era in Disney Animation is sometimes called the Post-Renaissance. However, it is also called the Experimental Era because Disney was for 8 years experimenting with different styles of animated films with little to sometimes no success. Out of all the films between 2000 and 2008, Lilo & Stitch is the most successful animated film due to the film becoming a franchise. Then 3 films have some level of a following, but never became huge hits with Disney. Fantasia 2000, The Emperor's New Groove and Bolt. They have some level of recognition but never get the same 'attention' as other Disney classics. Then we have the overlooked films like Dinosaur, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. Disney would get back in the game with The Princess and the Frog. Yes, the film made less than Bolt commercially, but critically (both critics and audiences) enjoyed it more than Bolt and agreed that the film was starting a new Era. Tangled confirmed the new found success with Disney Animation. Frozen cemented it. Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia showed Disney could do modern contemporary films along with the classic fairy tales.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:29 pm 
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I honestly don't feel the Revival Era started until Tangled (much to my horror). That's the closest to The Little Mermaid of this generation. Besides the similarities and huge popularity of both heroines there's also the fact that both started off the trend of TV shows based on the films.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:01 pm 
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I definitely agree that Bolt is a transition film, and isn't necessarily in the same category as others. But at the end of the day this argument is pointless because WDAS themselves have, on multiple occasions now, endorsed the idea that the current era of Disney Animatiom starts with Bolt. So, that's as official as it gets; whether we like it or not, the Revival Era starts with Bolt.

I choose to see it like this: if the Revival Era is a book, then Bolt is the Prologue, and Princess and the Frog is Chapter 1.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:53 pm 
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I really don't see the need to pack films into categories. Nor starting a thread to discuss why do you think some movie falls into imaginary category A or imaginary category B


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:19 am 
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SWillie! wrote:
But at the end of the day this argument is pointless because WDAS themselves have, on multiple occasions now, endorsed the idea that the current era of Disney Animatiom starts with Bolt.

They're engaging in historical revisionism though. :lol: The Lasseter-era at WDAS started with Meet the Robinsons. There's plenty of evidence that supports that.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:44 pm 
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Yes it's for sure a bit revisionist. You could make a bit of an argument - although not a great one - about the smaller amount of reworking that was done on Robinsons once Lasseter came on. Regardless though, like I said... as far as I'm concerned at least, what the studio says, goes.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:56 pm 
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I think given the constant period of transition the studio was in when shifting from Pete Schneider to Thomas Schumacher to David Stainton to John Lasseter in literally a 7 year period (1999 to 2006) has contributed to that post-Renaissance era being such a difficult era, and made classifying when the Resurgence started all the more harder.

The way I see it, Meet the Robinsons suffers from being under three "regimes" so to speak, as Schumacher greenlit it, but Stainton was head of the studio when it was actually in production, and Lasseter came in towards its end and gave notes on changes. So the film had too many cooks (but at least had one director the entire time) that made it a bit harder to classify. Its release date was pushed back four months after Lasseter viewed the early cut of the film, so while the film was definitely released *during* the Lasseter era, it was too far gone in production to be fully under his watchful eye.

Bolt, on the other hand, was remounted almost entirely from the ground up, so while American Dog was developed under both Schumacher and Stainton, when Lasseter came along, it essentially became an entirely different film. So I'd agree with the studio and SWillie that the Lasseter era (not necessarily the Revival) begins with Bolt.

If anything, I'd say that Meet the Robinsons is the transition between the Post-Renaissance dark age and the Revival. Much like how The Great Mouse Detective was back in the 80s. It was one of Ron Miller's last greenlit projects, but was produced squarely during Katzenberg/Schneider's time. And it helped get Disney back on the map again, while the follow-up was the first new project under the new regime.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:36 am 
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As you can see, Bolt is in this pic. Back in 2008 Bolt only made $114 million at the domestic Box Office, while right now Zootopia is on the verge of $300 million domestic! My how times have changed at WDAS :D


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:00 pm 
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rodrigo_ca wrote:
I really don't see the need to pack films into categories. Nor starting a thread to discuss why do you think some movie falls into imaginary category A or imaginary category B


It's primarily done to help calibrate the studio's culture. It is no surprise that Disney's animated movies often reflect the health of the overall company.

People can broadly define between the Walt-era movies and the post-Walt movies, but each individual era contains periods of strengths and weaknesses that characterize the top creative(s) of each respective era. Many agree that Walt's greatest films were from the first era (beginning with Snow White in 1937 and ending with Bambi in 1942), and his third era (beginning with Cinderella in 1950, and arguably going up to 1967's The Jungle Book).

For the Eisner era, the bracket of his greatest films are often set between 1989's Little Mermaid and 1994's Lion King.

These eras are also used by studio creatives as measuring sticks for how to shape their next era after each slump. When Walt kicked off his third era 1950, his animators decided not to make anymore package features, which made up Walt's second era. They instead looked to resume making full-narrative films, by utilizing the backlog of concepts that began development during the first era. When Disney's animated features were reorganized under Eisner, they looked to the best of Walt's films as examples of what people valued best about Disney animated films.

Today, Disney animators look to the best of the Walt and Eisner eras to help shape their current slate of films. The Princess and the Frog particularly used Eisner's top era as inspiration.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:44 pm 
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Another thing to remember is a shelf life of a Disney film. While Bolt has a fan base, the film seems to be forgotten by many Disney fans. Even The Princess and the Frog has more attention than this film. I can see why Bolt is not as beloved as many Disney films. It is rather...ordinary. Nothing really stood out with me with that film. Look at Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. All 3 have something that stood out and made an impact. Bolt hardly any impact. When I talk to people about this movie, people seem to agree with me on this.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:20 am 
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bkelly25 wrote:
Another thing to remember is a shelf life of a Disney film. While Bolt has a fan base, the film seems to be forgotten by many Disney fans. Even The Princess and the Frog has more attention than this film. I can see why Bolt is not as beloved as many Disney films. It is rather...ordinary. Nothing really stood out with me with that film. Look at Wreck It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. All 3 have something that stood out and made an impact. Bolt hardly any impact. When I talk to people about this movie, people seem to agree with me on this.


I agree. Bolt just didn't make any kind of impact upon it's release around Thanksgiving 2008. The fact that the film made less money than Chicken Little is also kinda embarrassing. Now Kung-Fu Panda 1 & Wall E, those features made a huge impact in the summer of 2008. KFP became the 3rd franchise at DreamWorks after Shrek & Madagascar while Wall E swept ALL the major animation awards. For Bolt, not even John Travolta & Miley Cyrus names on the poster was enough.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:43 am 
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Bolt did get an Oscar Nomination though, which, admittedly, isn't the be all and end all of a film's legacy (and 2008 was a weak year in animation competition wise), but that's something Tangled can't ever put in any of its advertisements for future release...


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